The Central Bank of Nigeria, on Monday, announced the formal engagement of a global fintech company, Bitt Inc., as the technical partner for its digital currency.
The CBN said the digital currency, called ‘eNaira’, would be unveiled before the end of this year.
According to a statement by the acting Director, Corporate Communication, Osita Nwanisobi, this was disclosed by the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, who said the benefits of the central bank digital currency include increased cross-border trade, accelerated financial inclusion, cheaper and faster remittance inflows, and easier targeted social interventions.
He said the virtual currency would also ensure improvements in monetary policy effectiveness, payment systems efficiency, and tax collection.
The bank said, “Project Giant, as the Nigerian CBDC pilot is known, has been a long and thorough process for the CBN, with the bank’s decision to digitise the naira in 2017, following extensive research and explorations.
“Given the significant explosion in the use of digital payments and the rise in the digital economy, the CBN’s decision follows an unmistakable global trend in which over 85 per cent of central banks are now considering adopting digital currencies in their countries.”
The CBN said its selection of Bitt Inc. from among highly competitive bidders was essentially hinged on the company’s technological competence, efficiency, platform security, interoperability, and implementation experience.